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Going digital has potential to leapfrog Uganda’s economy by gigabytes

On Saturday, May 10, West Nile and Karamoja, were officially connected to the National Infrastructure Backbone (NBI) at a colourful public launch ceremony in Koboko District, opening the gateway to an affordable and faster Internet connection for the people of the sub-regions.

On May 15, several heads of state, international captains of industry, and international financiers, including the World Bank’s Senior Vice Presidents for Africa and Infrastructure, gathered in Rwanda’s capital Kigali for the 5th edition of the Transform Africa Summit to discuss how to transform the continent into a single digital market.

The two events – while miles apart – are connected by a single vision: To find better ways of leveraging information and communication technologies to improve the lives of citizens, ease the cost of doing business through innovation, and make government work smarter, deliver essential services faster, efficiently and more transparently.

The global digital economy is estimated at $11.5 trillion. It offers enormous opportunity for Uganda, and the African continent to leapfrog its development to improve the lives of present and future generations. The African Union is already well-ahead in promoting the All Africa Digital transformation initiative agenda, which aims to connect every African individual, business and government by 2030.

The World Bank is proud to be a leading partner to the African Union and to have been working with many countries to bring all of Africa online. Twenty African countries, including Uganda, have already been connected to the rest of the world with submarine cables, improved backbone infrastructure, and bandwidth affordability using sustainable public-private partnership arrangements.

For countries to reap the full benefits of the digital economy and mitigate any associated risks, they need to invest in five key foundations.

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